More than 1,100 Ontario students in Grades 3 to 8 visited U of T Engineering on June 5 for a chance to peek under the surface of today’s technologies — all while experiencing the excitement of university life.
The one-day Go North Youth event, created by U of T Engineering Outreach in partnership with Google Canada and Actua, featured workshops and learning designed to ignite curiosity and showcase the possibility that a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can hold.
“Go North is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of the kids to get to the University of Toronto and experience cutting-edge STEM technology,” said Tim Barker, a Grade 4 teacher at McKee Public School in Toronto. “The event offers exactly the kind of experiential learning that both teachers and students are looking for these days.”
The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, helped kick off the event to a crowd full of students in Convocation Hall.
“I am so excited to be here at Go North,” Minister Duncan said. “I want you to know you are the most important people. You’re going to be the astronauts, the engineers, the inventors, the scientists, the teachers. You’re going to be whatever you want to be. You’re going to be the future leaders of our country.”
Dean Cristina Amon voiced the enormous promise of pursuing STEM and encouraged the students to make the most of the unique opportunity.
“This is your chance to build, design, test and explore what it is like to be an engineer,” Dean Amon said. “Engineers do what we do because we care to make the world a better place.”
Earlier in the day, Dean Amon met with other STEM leaders from industry and government for a roundtable discussion on how to best prepare Canadian youth for the future of work through STEM. Dean Amon emphasized U of T Engineering’s cross-Faculty programming, multidisciplinary student environment, work-integrated learning and entrepreneurship opportunities, and commitment to diversity as strategies for developing engineering leaders of tomorrow.
Participants shared their experiences on Twitter throughout the day using the hashtag #GoNorthU. Check out our Twitter Moment below to see what they had to say. Photos from the day can also be viewed on Flickr.